Iain Macleod was born at Clifford House, Skipton, Yorkshire, on 11 November 1913. He was educated at Ermysted's Grammar School in Skipton and at Fettes College in Edinburgh
He was one of the great British bridge players. He won the Gold Cup in 1937, with teammates Maurice Harrison-Gray (Capt), S. J. Simon, Jack Marx (bridge) and Colin Harding, and authored a book, Bridge is an Easy Game which contains a description of the Acol bidding system. A bridge connection earned him a job offer with a printing company, but by the late 1930s he was living the life of a playboy off his bridge earnings; he only gave up playing seriously (and relying on his bridge earnings) in the early 1950s when his developing political career became his priority.
At the general election of February 1950 he won in the parliamentary constituency of Enfield, West. Though not initially appointed to ministerial office, a brilliant Commons performance in March 1952 against Aneurin Bevan in a debate on health caught Churchill's attention, and six weeks later, on 7 May, Macleod was appointed Minister of Health. In this position, later in 1952, he famously made the announcement that British clinician Richard Doll had proved the link between smoking and lung cancer at a press conference throughout which he chain-smoked.
In 1961 he became Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, leader of the House of Commons, and chairman of the Conservative Party organization.
As Shadow Chancellor in 1967 Iain Macleod helped to found the homeless charity Crisis
On 20 June 1970, two days after the Conservative Party's election victory, Macleod was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer by Prime Minister Edward Heath. However, on 7 July 1970 he was rushed to hospital with appendicitis. He was discharged 11 days later but at 10.30pm on 20 July 1970, while in 11 Downing Street, Iain Macleod suffered a severe heart attack and died at 11.35pm.
He is buried in the churchyard of Gargrave Church in North Yorkshire.
Camrose Trophy Selections: 1937 1938 1946 1947
Gold Cup Winner: 1937
Crockfords Cup Winner: 1946